Okinawa's Ritual Honoring Ancestors
Ancestor Worship in Okinawa, Japan
A gathering at the family tomb for Shimi
Vegetation surrounding the Ohaka is trimmed and the grounds are cleaned up by men, usually the week prior. The family agrees on a date whereby maximum attendance is achieved. Women prepare foods for the assembly, days in advance.
My family planned Shimi for Sunday the 17th of April 2011. It rained.
Shimi, the ancestral worship ceremony, is not a sad occasion in Okinawa. It is a time to be happy and the spirits, who are always watching, enjoy seeing the family celebrating together.
Are there any joyous celebrations for the deceased in your culture?
Photographer: Rusty Robertson